Green Apple Books is a beloved independent bookstore in the Richmond District of San Francisco. Established by Richard Savoy in 1967, an old-school spirit still courses through. New and used books number into the hundreds of thousands, the expert staff rival Google results, and they also know music! Co-owners Pete Mulvihill and Kevin Ryan assumed the helm after learning directly from Mr. Savoy over many years. We caught up with Pete to talk about helping the city read, and how his shop lives up to its maxim “Real books, people, local.” Here's what he had to say...

Q: How has Green Apple Books been described?

1. It's like bookstores SHOULD be. Funky and packed to the rafters.

2. The kind of store where you can discover your next favorite book or meet your future spouse.

3. They sure know books!

Q: What do you wish your customers and the general public knew about Green Apple Books? 

As an officially recognized San Francisco Legacy Business, Green Apple has so many partners and friends in the community, it's impossible to list them all, from donations to the Hamilton Family Shelters to partnering on events with the JCC and the Bay Area Book Festival, from supporting Litquake to funneling donations to Friends of the SF Public library, from supporting the SF Bike Coalition to helping establish the SF Locally Owned Merchants Alliance, Green Apple is a partner and friend to so many.

Q:  What is one way your business is unique to its location? 

Green Apple is entirely site-dependent--the charm of the worn wooden stairs, the hidden nooks and alcoves upstairs, the scent of used books--it's all wrapped up in our 506 Clement location, a building that survived the 1906 earthquake!

Q: What’s your favorite item you are selling this season and why?

With the urgent need for change in this country AND Black History Month, our Anti-Racist book display is both popular and essential.

Q: We love serendipity and the unexpected. Is there a unique experience that you or anyone in your team has had that really shaped the trajectory of your business? 

Over 53 years, EVERYTHING that can happen has happened in these four walls, from marriage proposals to breaking New Year resolutions not to buy more books until you've read the ones next to your bed... Discovery and serendipity happen every day, when the perfect book practically jumps off the shelf at you, or you come in for one book and leave with five.

The charm of the worn wooden stairs, the hidden nooks and alcoves upstairs, the scent of used books--it's all wrapped up in a building that survived the 1906 earthquake!

Vibemap Tip: All Green Apple events and books are curated to reflect local, national and global conversations. And they have two locations (...and an online store you can get to from your couch!). Get an informed gift idea, for yourself or someone you love.